Police: Pursuit suspect intentionally swerved into oncoming traffic

CALDWELL - A Greenleaf man faces several felony charges after police say he led officers on a high speed chase, and intentionally swerved into oncoming traffic.

The chase began at about 2 p.m. Sunday when a Caldwell police officer attempted to pull over a van for having the fictitious license plates near the intersection of 10th Avenue and Freeport Street. Police say the van's driver - later identified as 25-year-old Gary W. Strawser - sped away and refused to stop for the officer.

Police quickly called off the pursuit because of the high speeds and the driver's "blatant disregard for other motorists."

Strawser was found a few minutes later, and began driving in the oncoming lanes of traffic on Blaine Street, police said.

The chase continued onto Interstate 84 from Caldwell to Nampa before turning around in the median and returning to the Franklin Road exit in Caldwell.

Investigators say the driver intentionally attempted to drive head-on into oncoming traffic as he headed south on South 21st Avenue and then east on Caldwell Boulevard towards Nampa. The driver again turned back towards Caldwell, this time driving west on Karcher Road.

The vehicle pursuit ended when police say Strawser turned into a subdivision near 10th Avenue and Ustick Road. Officers put down spike strips to keep him from leaving the neighborhood, and he eventually crashed while trying to cross over a small canal.

Police say Strawser tried to run away on foot. An officer chased him and was able to subdue him with a Taser.

Strawser booked into the Canyon County Jail on felony charges of eluding, aggravated assault on a police officer and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. Police say he was wanted on numerous warrants, and they also found what is believed to be methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside the van.

The aggravated assault on a police officer charge stems from the chase, when investigators say Strawser intentionally swerved the van at an officer who was attempting to deploy spike strips.

Caldwell Police are asking any motorists who witnessed the pursuit and were almost struck by Strawser to contact them through dispatch at (208) 454-7531 to provide a statement.

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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